Originally published May 7, 2015 on LinkedIn Pulse
First, as a mother of two myself, let me take a moment to wish all the wonderfully hard-working and generous mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day!
Jane Sellman once said, “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” But the ways moms define success is not.
At Ketchum, we (and everyone else, we hope) appreciate moms throughout the year. As marketing-to-moms thought leaders, we know that moms represent trillions of dollars in purchasing power – more than any other consumer segment – and that moms’ economic power is still growing.
We also know that moms are now the primary breadwinner, or on par with a partner, in almost half of U.S. households (Happy Mother’s Day, indeed!) and at rates that are quickly increasing around the world.
In short, moms are still THE consumer audience to be reckoned with. Although they are similar in many ways, a look at how moms define personal success by generation reveals fascinating differences and drivers that can help us better understand this dynamic group.
Four key findings of our Moms by Generation research include:
- 66% of Millennial mothers value career success and holding chief positions in the workplace, and 55% value those positions within the community. More so than Baby Boomer moms (46%) and (37%) respectively, or Gen X moms (40%) and (38%), respectively.
- Although Baby Boomers tend to juggle more thoughts, 83% of them ultimately find a way to appreciate life more than Millennial moms (75%), and Gen X moms (66%).
- 98% of Baby Boomer moms agree that having well-adjusted kids is a personal definition of success, vs. Millennials (89%), and Gen X (85%).
- Confidence and investment in one’s self tends to be higher among Millennial moms at 61%, than among Baby Boomer moms (46%) and Gen X moms (44%).
So why does one size of success not fit all moms? Societal dynamics may explain the differences. With the decline of marriage among the Millennial generation, along with an increasing number of children being born to single moms, breadwinning and career success may simply imperative to child support. Boomer moms, noted for kicking off the “helicopter parent” trend, have focused more time, money and energy on the development of their kids than any other generation, so having well-adjusted children may be perceived as a pay-off to those extraordinary efforts.
In light of these varying definitions of personal success, we marketers should give the moms out there a truly meaningful Mother’s Day gift that lasts even longer than flowers or breakfast in bed (although those things are nice). We can do this by:
- Marketing directly to the different definitions of personal success.
- Acknowledging Millennial moms not just as moms, but also as important drivers of business success. Let’s help elevate them to truly equal drivers of the global economy.
- Celebrate the hard work Baby Boomer moms have put in to redefine work/life balance and create well-adjusted kids.
Gen X moms don’t seem to be on board as strongly as other generations with these measures of personal success, but our data clearly indicates a need for confidence building and investment in themselves. Take a look at your marketing-to-moms programs and see how they could be enhanced by helping moms success according to the way they uniquely define it.
Ketchum’s recent launch of the 50+ ReMovement Study and our continuing focus on moms and Millennials provide more insights into these important audience segments.
Once more, to the hard-working moms of all generations, regardless of how we each define success – Happy Mother’s Day!